Programmatic audio to be embraced by media agencies in 2022: IAB

Australian media agencies are embracing the efficiency and flexibility offered by programmatic audio more than ever, with 64% indicating an intention to use programmatic for audio advertising over the next 12 months, up from 59% in 2021, according to IAB’s sixth annual Australian Audio State of the Nation report.

The report, which was produced in collaboration with research company Hoop Group, with support from 15 media and tech companies and industry body Commercial Radio Australia, is based on responses from 198 media agency decision makers.

COVID-19 was found to have minimal impact on digital audio advertising over the last year, with agencies use of streaming digital audio advertising and podcast advertising continuing on a steady growth trajectory. 73% of media agencies regularly used streaming digital audio advertising and agencies’ consideration of podcast advertising jumped to 59%, up from 36% last year.


Branding was the leading objective for many agencies choosing to invest in digital audio, with 87% using streaming digital audio advertising and 84% using podcast advertising to increase brand awareness. Despite this, only 46% using audio advertising were consistently using an audio or sonic logo as a brand asset in their creative.

Another key objective of audio advertising was to support specific promotions, though this objective was less significant for podcast advertising. Increased engagement was also an important objective for media agencies, particularly when using podcast and streaming digital audio formats.



Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia said: “After a year when lockdowns kept changing consumer purchasing behaviour, it’s not surprising that marketers have expanded their use of streaming audio from brand building to supporting short term objectives to drive sales. It is also great sign of a maturing market to see a reduction in the number of agencies citing lack of effectiveness proof as a barrier to investment in digital audio.”

While agencies are interested in greater integration of streaming digital audio and podcasts with other audio channels and in integrated digital campaigns, only 40% reported planning and buying audio activities within the one team. IAB identified the removal of planning and buying silos, the introduction of standardised measurement and increased supply of omni channel programmatic inventory as areas for growth in 2022.

The full report can be viewed at


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